When Daphne (Meghann Fahy) whisks Harper (Aubrey Plaza) off on an unexpected overnight stay in a villa in Noto, the pair hit the shops wearing showstopping looks that costume designer Alex Bovaird describes as fittingly romantic and sexy. “It is Daphne’s little fantasy and she’s always playful,” says Bovaird of the blue-and-white striped Prada two-piece Daphne wears once they arrive. The constant tension between them also plays out in what they wear. “Daphne dresses a lot more what somebody with money should wear,” says Bovaird, adding that Harper, in her tastes, is “much cooler than Daphne. And she’s a little bit uptight.” Her vintage Moschino dress, then, is “a perfect little summer holiday retro look, but it’s also very stiff.” Both women wear designer clothes and accessories, like an Hermès bag, Cartier watch, and the Jacques Marie Mage sunglasses lately favored by the ultra-rich. “They’re both thinking about what they’re wearing from head to toe,” Bovaird says. “In real life, people who’ve had money for a long time maybe don’t wear flashy things—but in the movie world they do.” 

Courtesy of HBO


When Shiv, Roman, and Kendall Roy travel to a California estate and attempt to lock in a deal with the Pierce family in the first episode of the season, they wear outfits that say “we come in peace,” says costume designer Michelle Matland. “They were all in their least business attire, knowing that Nan was only going to welcome them if they didn’t come as a team of troopers.” Matland adds that the moment also allowed viewers to see “a little bit about who they are when they’re not with Logan.” Each of the Roy offspring has transformed their looks over the seasons, with Kendall (Jeremy Strong) going from “corporate to hipster to trying to fit into his father’s world and then throwing his hands up, I think, and deciding to find himself again after a lot of difficulties,” says Matland. Of course, Kendall still uses his clothes to communicate how he wants to be seen. “Not necessarily who he is, but who he would like to say to the world he is: ‘I’m strong, I’m hip, I’m cool, I’m wealthy,’ ” says Matland. In contrast, Pierce family matriarch Nan (Cherry Jones) carries her generations of riches in a much different way. “We see Nan come out in what she could have been gardening in. She has a much longer history of wealth,” says Matland. But even Nan only wears the best designers, which speaks more to her limited view of the world rather than her specific desire to display her wealth. “Her clothes are super high-end and they’re all labels, but not because she’s pretentious, because that’s all she knows,” says Matland. “They’re limited to their understanding of the world, and her understanding of the world is fairly simple. This is old American money.” 

Courtesy of HBO

BEEF (Netflix)

All of the characters in Beef use their clothing to communicate how they want to be seen, whether that’s to gain power, hide secrets, or manipulate others. There’s a range of wealth on the show, and so costume designer Helen Huang turned to Instagram, studying Asian influencers to perfect the way Ashley Park’s Naomi would dress. “Even though she is wealthy, we did it where she was very conscious of her body and she liked sort of pared-back looks, but then she has a logo bag or something—she’s that type of wealth,” she says of Naomi’s Alexander Wang shirt and Helmut Lang pants. “When you have wealth, the silhouette is changed.” Maria Bello’s billionaire investor Jordan uses her high-end looks to exhibit her proclivity for collecting— both objects and people. “Her wealth is not in the fact that she has a specifically labeled purse, but more so she’s very proud of the textiles she collected in Africa,” says Huang, who accessorized a black Donna Karan dress with a shawl from Bello’s own travels. Most of her sleek looks are accompanied by a pop of pattern, like a black top that Huang paired with a vintage textile that she found at a costume shop. “When you travel a lot, depending on your racial identity, there is an element of racial appropriation to it,” says Huang. “She might not be aware, but it is very apparent in the story with a mostly Asian cast.” 

Rebecca Ford

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